The Ranji Trophy match between Railways and Punjab at the Karnail Singh Stadium was called off on Wednesday after the pitch was judged “dangerous and unfit for play” by match officials, reported PTI. Instead, the game will now be played as a fresh encounter over two days on a new surface at the same venue starting on Thursday.

When play was halted by match officials, 24 wickets had fallen in just 103 overs, with fast bowlers accounting for 20 of them. Punjab were 18/4 in their second innings after gaining a 12-run lead in the first.

The decision was made during the second session’s drinks break, according to the report. The on-field umpires for the match, K Madanagopal and Rajeev Godara, appraised the match referee Youraj Singh and then passed the decision along to captains, Mandeep Singh of Punjab and Karn Sharma of Railways.

Punjab batter Abhishek Sharma, who was the highest scorer for his side in both innings, told PTI, “I have never seen a wicket like that in Ranji before. The bounce was too unpredictable making the pitch very unsafe. What we have been told that the game will be played on a fresh pitch.”

He added, “The umpires and match referee took the right call to abandon today’s play and start afresh tomorrow. Players put a lot of effort into preparation for this game so disappointed to see a wicket like that.”

According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, the ground officials had hoped to prepare a grassy field for the game, but early-winter chill and heavy dew had hampered preparations. The report also pointed out that it is not the first time that pitches at the Karnail Singh Stadium have come under scrutiny. In 2011, BCCI’s technical committee had put the venue on a watchlist for producing poor pitches.